Everyone agrees that interviewing nannies is unlike any other ordinary interview. Many parents admit to being more nervous than the nanny, even those that have been hiring and firing in their own professional careers for many years. The whole process can be quite daunting and time consuming, yet the decision will have a huge impact on every part of your family life. This Insider Guide will help you through the process.
If possible and time allows try and speak to one of their previous employers before the interview.
Ask the nanny to bring all necessary documentation
Including original certificates, work visas, photo identification/ passport, driving license, latest police check etc.
Ensure your nanny has good directions to your home address, as well as your contact details. Punctuality gains marks so help your nanny achieve them.
Do spouses’ partners want to be involved and if so at what stage? Some nannies will tell you that they find it quite intimidating being interviewed by more than one person, so tell them what to expect beforehand. Perhaps spouses’ partners could be caring for the children in another part of the house so that they can become involved once all the formalities are completed.
Choose somewhere comfortable for you and the interviewee to sit where you can both see each other clearly.
Be really clear on what you are looking for
Think about work arrangements, priorities, and other family members’ styles of discipline. These are doubly important if you plan to share a nanny with another family.
It's always a good idea to have spoken to potential candidates on the phone first. Although it's time consuming this could save you time in the long run eliminating nannies that you’re not interested in and those that potentially won’t show up for interview, which can be quite common! You may also like to use a skype or video call as an additional means of early assessment.
Nanny interviews can be quite relaxed and informal but it's really important that nothing gets forgotten. You may like to note how well the candidate has answered specific questions.
Don’t make any snap decisions if the perfect candidate arrives for interview. As above, be fair and continue with the full interview, it's sometimes easy to find yourself answering questions, making things easier because of first impressions.
If you feel something is not quite right or something bothers you, ask questions.
Talk about pay, hours, holidays and benefits.
It can be really embarrassing for all concerned if things overrun and the next candidate is left waiting in the kitchen! We would normally suggest around one hour for the initial interview.
Good nannies aren't normally on the job market for long. If you think you’ve found the right candidate and are keen to go ahead only ever offer a position subject to satisfactory written references, and perhaps a paid trial day.
Do not accept references which a nanny brings to the interview. Previous employers are often more open on the telephone and you will be able to probe on anything especially important to you that isn’t mentioned in a written reference.
There is a Mary Poppins out there for everyone